Friday, June 17, 2016


We bought a house.

No, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re under contract on a house and hoping to close early next month. We haven’t exactly bought it yet.

Which brings me to this post's title: patience. Buying a house (our first) is a lesson in a lot of things: legal speak, perfecting your signature, not having a heart attack over the biggest purchase of your life. But mostly it’s reminding me that I need to work on my patience.

I'm not a very patient person. We order a pizza and I want it immediately. What do you mean they can’t bake and deliver it in 30 seconds??  I’m hungry now. We put an offer on a house that we love and I want to move in immediately. What do you mean we have to wait seven weeks? Who cares about paperwork and packing? I want to live there now.

And, obviously this applies to running, too. I want results immediately. That’s why off days/bad weather/disappointing races are so frustrating. I have to wait six months (or four years) for another opportunity? I want a PR now.

Patience is vital to running. You can’t force things too quickly—you’ll end up hurt or burnt out. One of the biggest keys to long-term running success is faith in the process, the slow accumulation of miles and workouts over years. In some races it comes together beautifully, sometimes not.

When it doesn’t, it can be tough to take. But as I’ve said before: training pays off even when races don’t go as planned. In the meantime, we need to be patient in two ways. First, mentally: trusting that our chance will come again, that one race is not the only race there ever will be, that our faster/stronger/tougher bodies are still there and will prove themselves another day.

And second, we need to be patient in our approach. If you’re looking ahead to a fall race, annoyed by a spring result, keep patience in mind. Don’t double your mileage, dedicate two more hours a day to lifting, and overhaul your entire training process (especially if race day was an anomaly in an otherwise great season). Focus on a tweak or two to make here or there: maybe more miles at goal pace, or foam rolling for a few minutes every day, or a renewed commitment to core work. Doing too much too soon is a consequence of impatience, and it only leads to injury. (And injury will require even more patience.)

It’s not easy, and every off-season I’m reminded of my struggles with patience. But I’ve found that focusing on a slight tweak each season helps remind me that I’m making progress. Maybe you’ll get stuck temporarily, feeling like you’ve hit a plateau, but with patience you’ll break through.

I came to DC for graduate school seven years ago and stayed longer than I thought I would. The house we (haven’t yet) bought is in Richmond, Virginia, where Husband and I met a decade ago. For the last few years, we’ve dreamed about moving back, “settling down” in suburbia, where we can afford a big house with a yard, where Target and Trader Joe’s are a quick drive away (and they have parking!!), where Husband's family is nearby. Now, finally, we’re making moves in that direction; we’ve found that suburban house and are currently just three weeks away from closing.

I suppose I can wait a few more weeks.

Mr. RunnerTeal and I met at the University of Richmond and then got married 
(and practiced our handoffs) there a few years later. Now, we're headed back.

Dream big,


  1. Thank you for another post that applies to many areas of life. If Mr. RunnerTeal has Steph Curry's contact info you should probably send this to him. ;>

  2. I can relate to this SO much. A month ago we just closed on our first house. I'm also not a patient person at all, and I was seriously ready to sign the contract on the first house that we looked at. Close to 50 open houses and three bidding wars later, we finally found our house and it was worth the wait! I hope everything goes smoothly for you guys!

    1. Thanks, Gretchen! Yea, finding a house also requires a lot of patience, but glad it worked out for you guys!

  3. I moved to Charleston 4 years ago from a smaller town in SC. There's not too much I miss, but I made so many new friends and training partners here. I did miss leaving behind a lot of training partners and friends there, although there was no "team" and I'm not nearly as fast or competitive (or need particularly speedy people to train with). I've visited Richmond a few times and agree it would be a nice place to settle down- cost of living has to be lower than DC is!

    Buying a house was crazy for us... for one thing, hubs and I have different last names and he goes by his middle name, so both of us had to remember which name to sign haha! I've never signed my name so many times. I'm glad you guys found a great one and hope the purchase and move go well.

    1. Thanks, Amy! We closed today and yea, I've never signed my name so much!

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